Research into and presentation of the ‘secular’ years of Islam

 
Twissel
 
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Twissel
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28 January 2015 11:27
 

Muslims like to remember the Golden Days of Saladin, when the Caliphate stretched further than any Christian empire. Then there are the times when Muslim Rulers controlled most of India.
These Empires ruled over many different religious groups without trying to forcefully proselytize them. Many Muslim scholar still boost about how, during the inquisition in Spain, Muslims across the Mediterranean gave refugee to thousands of Jews.  Or they might refer to the many scientific achievement first developed by Muslims during those times, only later to be taken up by Western scholars.
It might be useful to document how different attitudes towards non-Muslims used to be. How limited the influence of Rulers over their subjects (of any religion) traditionally was. And how freely scholars could debate all kinds of controversial subjects, many of them to do with the Koran itself.
Most Muslims would not count their current situation as a Golden Age of Islam. Even radicals would say that they are at the beginning of the long process of a violent restoration to some former glory.
The problem is that the glory they are referring to has nothing to do with the system of Sharia law they are currently trying to establish. Of course, these Caliphates were no beacons of secularisms; but keeping the peace and paying taxes was way more important than obeying religious laws by non-believers.  And yes, the Caliphate was most probably more progressive than any of the Christian Kingdoms of Europe at the time.
It would be huge progress if moderate Muslims could see why this Golden Age of Islam was so great; that is was more liberal than Europe at the time, less ideological, less fanatically religious.

[ Edited: 29 January 2015 15:03 by Twissel]
 
 
Gregoryhhh
 
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Gregoryhhh
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28 January 2015 15:58
 

um, yeah , but i’d still like to get us to agree that the Abramic God be put in his place as the most sociopathic ( or psychopathic)  “being” in existence.

A “God” with three religions who are all killing each other - we need a new “God” - hey! how ‘bout one we are too little to describe- after all, we cant even tell the children what happened a trillionth of a trillionth of a second both before and after the Big Bang, and yet we tell them that though it’s true we dont know every single thing about the watch , we do know every fucking single thing about the watchmaker - um, yeah right - the children are not falling for that feces anymore.
gregory
Post Scriptum: Praise The Lord!

[ Edited: 28 January 2015 16:09 by Gregoryhhh]
 
 
Twissel
 
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Twissel
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28 January 2015 16:17
 

That would be part 2 of my nefarious plan…

 
 
sojourner
 
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sojourner
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29 January 2015 14:37
 

I consider the “will to power” part of religion more effect than cause, in that I think it largely represents an outcome, not the cause of an outcome (although I think there is feedback in both directions). In other words, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that small, insular groups who feel an urgent need to gain power for whatever reason - local chaos and instability, lack of resources that they then want to plunder from elsewhere, or more ignoble factors like personal greed, boredom, and humiliation (look at the conditions in Germany pre-WWII, for example - I think a very secular sense of wounded pride and humiliation played a part in forming the Nazi party) - tend towards the rigid and ideological. Beliefs so often follow goals and desires, and not the other way around.


For large, established, secular groups, a more liberal attitude (‘more’ being relative to place and time - the Roman Empire was, for example, often rather liberal in their day because they had to incorporate so many new cultures, although not by our modern standards) is probably just more functional. Such groups depend on a large number of moving parts that it’s best not to piss off too badly in order to maintain harmony, and reliance on sheer numbers means reliance on mass appeal that must extend to large groups of people. Or if not ‘appeal’, at least ‘utility of’. How much of the success of the Women’s Rights movement in the West, for example, was due to the sudden dewey-eyed empathy of men towards their female counterparts, and how much of it was due to the relative value of earning money in the workforce vs. reproducing more exponentially at home? Much of what we consider “The Good” is, to my mind, the natural consequence of cooperation between ever-larger groups of people.

 
 
glacier
 
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glacier
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29 January 2015 20:24
 

Ah yes, the myth of the Golden Age… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwXtTwNvWXc

 
Twissel
 
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Twissel
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30 January 2015 06:31
 
Glacier - 29 January 2015 07:24 PM

Ah yes, the myth of the Golden Age… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwXtTwNvWXc

nice video.

Look - I’m just trying to find a way to get Muslims to be proud of something else but their bone-headed fundamentalists ideology. If we (for now) have to pretty-up their history, why not? Untarnished truth is a medicine best administered in small doses over an extended period of time.

Most Muslims have one overpowering emotion: embarrassment at how backwards their societies, their research and technology and their cultural achievements are compared to the West at the current time. They think back to a time when they felt like the rulers of the earth and wonder how they could have ended up here.

 
 
Gregoryhhh
 
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Gregoryhhh
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30 January 2015 20:30
 

The Arabic root word for “Islam” is “submission.”